News Room

August 11, 2022, Board Meeting

 

For Immediate Release                                        July 13, 2022

 

 

Meetings of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Board of Commissioners have been scheduled for Thursday, August 11, 2022, in the sixth-floor Board Room/Main Conference Room at the NFTA, 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, N.Y. At this time, Commissioners of the NFTA may choose to meet in person or participate remotely (subject to change based on Executive Order by the Governor of New York State). The NFTA Chair (or Acting Chair), Executive Director, and essential staff of the NFTA will be present in person. The meetings below are not open to the public but can be viewed and listened to by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.

 

Thursday, August 11th                        Audit and Governance Committee

                                                            10:00 a.m.

 

                                                            Aviation Committee

                                                            10:30 a.m.

                                               

                                                            Surface Transportation Committee

                                                            11:00 a.m.

 

                                                            Board Meeting

                                                            12:30 p.m.

 

Community Leaders Show the Public What the Improvements Will Look Like

MEDIA ADVISORY                                                June 17, 2022

 

What:       The recently created renderings that illustrate the upcoming improvements at the

                 Freedom Wall will be unveiled for the community to see. Never has this incredible    

                 public work of art been more relevant and important to the Western New York   community.

 

Who:         Senator Tim Kennedy, Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission

                 (MSAAHCC), the East Side Garden Walk (ESWG) and the NFTA.     

 

Where:      Freedom Wall, Cold Spring Bus Facility, 1547 Michigan Ave.

 

When:       Friday, June 17, 11:00 a.m.

As the Community Begins Juneteenth Celebrations, Leaders Unveil the Future Look of the Inspiring Landmark

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   June 17, 2022

 

BUFFALO, N.Y., - Senator Tim Kennedy joined leadership from the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission (MSAAHCC), the East Side Garden Walk (ESGW) and the NFTA on Friday to share renderings of  what the future holds for the beautification project of Buffalo’s Freedom Wall. The Freedom Wall, located at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street, is an important and moving mural that celebrates our nation’s historic and ongoing struggles for political and social equality. Never has this symbolic public artwork had more meaning for the Western New York Community in the wake of the tragedy that occurred on May 14, 2022.

Senator Kennedy is to be thanked for obtaining the state funding needed for the project. The improvements, set to start this summer, include:

  • Reconstruction of the area between the concrete wall and street curbing
  • Installation of LED lighting to accent the wall portraits
  • Replacement of worn street curbing and improvement of sidewalk accessibility

“We are so grateful to Senator Kennedy who made this important and meaningful project come to life,” said Kim Minkel, NFTA Executive Director. “Thanks to Senator Kennedy we will have the money needed to improve the curb appeal around the Freedom Wall. This moving public art project has become a major destination in Western New York, and we are proud to be part of the Freedom Wall and all it represents.”

"This enhancement project will ensure that the Freedom Wall is truly illuminated and appreciated in the way it deserves to be. From the very beginning of this process, it was important to us that we were collaborating with groups like the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission and members of the East Side Garden Walk to discuss what these improvements would look like and how they would be incorporated into this powerful piece of art," said Senator Tim Kennedy. "I'm grateful to our community leaders for continuing to have a thoughtful dialogue with the NFTA and my office, and I'm thrilled to celebrate this progress as we celebrate Juneteenth and the people featured in this iconic Buffalo mural."

This public project will cost approximately $734,000, and will begin later this summer with a target completion date of the Fall 2022. This initiative had a considerable amount of community input. A special community panel conducted a survey, held public meetings and provided key data and direction to ensure that the project truly reflects the desires of the community.   

 

NFTA-Metro Kicks Off First Year of Free Parks Adventure Bus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    June 13, 2022

 

BUFFALO, N.Y.- NFTA-Metro, the New York State Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation, and the Erie County Parks Department have partnered to offer free Saturday bus service to connect riders to seven of Western New York’s most popular parks. This special service will start Saturday, June 18, and run through Saturday, August 13.

This initiative was developed as a result of feedback from a 2021 Bus Network Improvement Study indicating a significant number of riders desire direct service to local parks and beaches. Western New York is full of amazing places to enjoy, and this program will provide access to its community gems.   

“We are thrilled to offer this innovative new program that our riders requested”, said James Morrell, Director of Public Transit for NFTA-Metro. “Providing access to Western New York’s most beautiful parks and beaches is important for our community and we are happy to make this possible.”

“We are very excited to be partnering with the NFTA and Erie County Parks to provide this opportunity to invite new visitors into our parks. We are keenly aware of some of the barriers related to getting to a few of our more remote parks. We are very happy to be participating in this initiative as we find creative ways to encourage more park visitors. We can’t wait to see everyone in the parks,” said Mark V. Mistretta, NYS Parks Niagara Region Director.

“We, at Erie County Parks, are excited be a part of the launch of the NFTA’s ‘Parks Adventure Bus’,” said Jimbo McDonald, Deputy Commissioner of Recreation. “We look forward to being able to share the natural beauty of many of our Region’s beautiful parks with our neighbors who can now easily take public transportation to these destinations.”

Service will begin on June 18th and every Saturday through August 6th, with a possible make-up day on Saturday, August 13th, departing from the bus station in downtown Buffalo (181 Ellicott Street).

Trip Times:

Departing from downtown bus station: 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:15 p.m.

Departing from the parks: 12:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:00 p.m.  

Parks served include:

 

  • Knox Farm State Park
  • Chestnut Ridge Park
  • Fort Niagara State Park
  • Como Lake Park
  • Beaver Island State Park
  • Akron Falls Park
  • Evangola State Park

 

 Click on the link to learn more about the Parks Adventure Bus.

For Immediate Release                                        June 9, 2022

Meetings of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Board of Commissioners has been scheduled for Thursday, June 23, 2022, in the sixth-floor Board Room/Main Conference Room at the NFTA, 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, N.Y. Commissioners of the NFTA may choose to meet in person or participate remotely. The NFTA Chair (or Acting Chair), Executive Director, and essential staff of the NFTA will be present in person. The meetings below are not open to the public but can be viewed and listened to by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.

 

Thursday, June 23                               Audit and Governance Committee

                                                            10:00 a.m.

 

                                                            Aviation Committee

                                                            10:30 a.m.

                                               

                                                            Surface Transportation Committee

                                                            11:00 a.m.

 

                                                            Board Meeting

                                                            12:30 p.m.

 

Bocce Club Pizza and BurgerFi Bring Unique New Flavors, Variety to Food Court at Buffalo Niagara International Airport

MEDIA ADVISORY                                June 8, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 7, 2022) – Travelers at the Buffalo Airport now have two new food choices. A local pizza favorite and a fast-growing upscale burger chain are open for business at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in partnership with hospitality and entertainment company Delaware North.

Members of the media and local officials are invited to a grand opening for the restaurants – Buffalo-based Bocce Club Pizza and national franchise BurgerFi – on June 9.

 

WHO:    Kim Minkel, executive director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority;

             Tom Waldron, chief operating officer of Delaware North Travel; Jim Pacciotti,                                                 owner of Bocce Club Pizza

WHAT:   Officials from Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Delaware North and Bocce                                        Club Pizza will be on hand to cut a ceremonial ribbon and be available to discuss the                                      recently opened Bocce Club Pizza and BurgerFi locations. Samples will be available                                        from both restaurants.

WHEN:   Thursday, June 9 at 10:30 a.m.

 

WHERE: Buffalo Niagara International Airport food court. Please park in the airport parking lot                                    and bring your stub to the event for validation. Because this event is post-security,                                        please arrive 15 minutes prior to the start time and we will escort you through security.

 

About Delaware North
Delaware North is a global leader in the hospitality and entertainment industry. The company annually serves more than a half-billion guests across four continents, including at high-profile sports venues, airports, national and state parks, restaurants, resorts, hotels and casinos. Building on more than a century of enduring partnerships and a commitment to local communities and sustainability, Delaware North’s vision is to delight guests by creating the world’s best experiences today while reimagining tomorrow. Learn more at www.DelawareNorth.com and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

 

 

NFTA-Police Officers are Building Relationships One Cup at a Time

NEWS RELEASE                                                         June 2, 2022

 

BUFFALO, N.Y.  - The NFTA is partnering with Tim Horton’s for the start of its Coffee with a Cop program. The first event will be held on June 2, 2022, at the Tim Horton’s located at 474 Michigan Street in Buffalo (14203).

The goal is to invite casual one-on-one conversations between local community members and NFTA transit police officers. There are no planned speeches or agendas.  This is an opportunity for the public to meet their neighborhood police in an informal, comfortable environment to forge bonds and share ideas to help make our community better. During the event, patrons will receive a free small hot coffee courtesy of Tim Hortons.

“Building and maintaining community connection is our goal for the NFTA Transit Police. This program presents a great opportunity for our officers and K-9 teams to engage with residents and forge relationships in a relaxed, friendly setting while working towards a better, safer, and more connected community,” said TAPD Chief Brian Patterson.

“Not only will we deliver delicious food and coffee to guests, but at Tims’ we are committed to supporting our local community. For this Coffee with a Cop initiative with the NFTA Transit Police, our mission is to build relationships with our community one cup at a time,” said Amit and Sahil Ahuja, Franchise Owners

Coffee with a Cop is a long-standing national law enforcement program that brings police officers and the community members they serve together, over coffee, for a brighter tomorrow. 

Transit Police Start First, “Coffee and a Cop” Program to Engage Our Community

Media Advisory                                                        June 1, 2022

 

WHAT:   The NFTA and Tim Hortons invite the public to attend its inaugural Coffee and a Cop event. The event will provide opportunities for local residents and business community members to enjoy coffee and conversation with Transit Police officers in a comfortable, welcoming environment. Attendees will have opportunities to have one-on-one discussions with TAPD officers and take photographs with their K-9 partners. Tim Hortons will provide a free small hot coffee to patrons during the event.

Coffee With a Cop is a national initiative that aims to build trust between community members and local police officers, one cup at a time. The key to the program’s success is that it eliminates physical barriers and allows opportunities for relaxed interactions that help law enforcement build better relationships within the communities they serve.

 

WHO:             Transit Police Chief, K-9 Officers, and Tim Hortons Representatives      

 

WHEN:          Thursday, June 2, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

 

WHERE:        Tim Hortons, 474 Michigan Ave., Buffalo, 14203

 

Complimentary Transportation Offers Tourists Easy Way to Explore Sights and Attractions

NEWS RELEASE                                               May 25, 2022

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - The NFTA announced its seasonal launch of Metro’s Trolley Service to guests staying at participating Niagara Falls hotels and motels beginning Friday, May 27. Metro’s Niagara Falls Trolley buses will serve Niagara Falls Boulevard, Pine Avenue, the Niagara Falls International Airport and downtown Niagara Falls, USA. More than 8 million people visit Niagara Falls every year, and transportation is vital.

Special Trolley stop signs along the route indicate where riders can board a Metro Trolley.  In downtown Niagara Falls, stops include the Aquarium of Niagara Falls, the Seneca Niagara Casino, and across from the Niagara Falls USA Official Visitor Center at First and Rainbow.  Service will also be provided to hotels and shops along Third Street, Rainbow Blvd. and Buffalo Avenue. In addition, stops are located along Pine Avenue, at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, and several motels along Niagara Falls Boulevard and Little Italy. 

Patrons receive their free 2022 Trolley day passes upon request at participating hotels and motels.  The Trolley pass, supported by the local Niagara Falls bed tax, allows pass holders free access to the Trolley service and the entire Metro Bus and Rail system in Niagara and Erie Counties.  Passes must be validated in Niagara County and may be used anytime on the date the pass is punched by the Metro operator.

“We are thrilled to once again partner with the NFTA for the Niagara Falls Trolley Service, which has been one of the most successful services for tourists in the city of Niagara Falls, USA,” said Frank Strangio, President of the Niagara Falls Hotel Association and Owner of Wingate by Wyndham & Quality Inn Hotels. “Metro’s Trolley serves hotels, motels, and attractions throughout the city and offers incredible value in helping tourists and visitors travel around our great city.”

“Metro’s Trolley service offers an easy and efficient transportation option for hotel guests and visitors to move around the City of Niagara Falls and throughout Western New York,” said Tom George, NFTA’s Vice President Operations. “We are looking forward to serving the community’s transportation needs in what is expected to be a busy tourism season ahead.”  

Operation hours are from 9 a.m. until midnight as follows: May 27-June 12 (Fri-Sun), June 13- Sept. 25 (Daily), and Sept. 30-Oct. 30 (Fri-Sun).  All Trolley route maps and schedules can be found online at nfta.com/metro, #NFTrolley, or upon visiting the Niagara USA Visitors Center at 10 Rainbow Blvd.

Those without a Trolley day pass can ride the Trolley by paying Metro's regular adult fare of $2, $1 for children (5-11 yrs.), seniors (65 yrs. and over), disabled and Medicare clients with valid I.D. All other Metro passes are also valid.  Children four and younger ride free, limit three children per fare-paying adult.

 

Free Transportation for Hotel Guests Within the City of Niagara Falls

Media Advisory                                      May 24, 2022

 

WHAT:    The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, the City of Niagara Falls and the                                              Niagara Falls Hotel Association, celebrate the launch of NFTA Metro’s 2022 Trolley                                          Service.  The event will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and opportunities for                                            attendees to take a seasonal ride on one of Metro’s Trolley vehicles.

              Metro’s Trolleys will serve guests staying at participating hotels and motels along                                          Niagara Falls Blvd., Pine Avenue, the Niagara Falls International Airport and within                                        downtown Niagara Falls from May 27 through October 30, 9 a.m. to midnight.

WHO:     Leaders from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, the City of Niagara                                              Falls, and the Niagara Falls Hotel Association.  

WHEN:  Wednesday, May 25, 2022, 12:00 p.m. (noon)    (Rain or Shine)

WHERE:  Intersection of Buffalo Avenue and Old Main Street, downtown Niagara Falls, N.Y.
             

** Event area will be blocked off.  Parking will be available along nearby streets.    

 

Agency Collecting Food Donations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              May 20, 2022

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The NFTA is partnering with FeedMore WNY to help collect food for those impacted by the mass shooting at the Tops store on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo that devastated our community this past weekend.    

The goal of this food drive is to collect as many canned goods and non-perishables as possible. Putting food on the table will be a struggle for many families affected by this tragedy and especially while a critical grocery resource will remain closed indefinitely.

If you would like to help those in need in our community, you can provide canned goods and non-perishable donations at the following locations:

  • NFTA Metro Customer Center, Downtown Bus Station, 181 Ellicott Street (14203)
  • Buffalo Airport Fire House, 120 Amherst Villa Rd. (14225)
  • FeedMore WNY, 91 Holt St. (14206)

 

FeedMore WNY exists to make sure our hungry community members of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances have enough nutritious food to eat. However, FeedMore WNY cannot fulfill its mission without the support of the City of Good Neighbors.

“We are devastated by this unthinkable act of violence within our great city and community we serve. The NFTA is committed to helping our neighbors recover by collecting food donations for those facing significant challenges brought about by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire community during this difficult time,” said Kimberley Minkel, executive director, NFTA.

This tragedy has greatly increased the need for food assistance in Western New York and FeedMore WNY has stepped up to help community members fill their pantries with food during this crisis. 

“FeedMore WNY is grateful to our friends at the NFTA and all of our wonderful community partners who are working to lift up our community during these tragic and trying times. We know that this is truly the City of Good Neighbors, and we are thankful for these donations as we work to provide food to our neighbors in need,” said Lisa Woodring, executive vice president of external affairs for FeedMore WNY.

Local businesses are welcome to participate, either by collecting food donations or submitting online financial donations through the FoodBank WNY.

 

ABOUT THE NFTA

The NFTA is a regional multi-modal transportation authority responsible for airport and surface transportation in Erie and Niagara Counties. NFTA/NFTM businesses include a bus, rail and paratransit system, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls International Airport.  In 2016, a J.D. Power study ranked the Buffalo Niagara International Airport second highest in customer satisfaction for medium-sized airports in North America. A June 2017 survey from the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council of more than 9,500 transit riders indicated that 90 percent of NFTA-Metro customers said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the bus and rail system.

 

 

Fares Suspended on Routes #12-Utica, #13- Kensington, #18-Jefferson and #24-Genesee Through End of May

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      May 17, 2022

 

BUFFALO, N.Y., In response to Saturday’s tragic shooting, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will suspend bus fares on the following Bus Routes: #12-Utica, #13- Kensington, #18-Jefferson and #24-Genesee through the end of May. These four routes go through and around the impacted community, helping those who need assistance access groceries, as well as connect community members to essential services including grief and mental health counseling. Staff from the State Office of Mental Health and the State University of New York will be available to provide counseling and support to those impacted by this tragedy. 

“It is imperative that the victims of this unthinkable act of terrorism by a white supremacist receive all the resources and support they need,” Governor Hochul said. “As members of the community heal from this terrible tragedy, bus service in the area will be free of charge through the end of the month, and my administration will continue to support Buffalonians in any way we can.” 

Executive Director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Kim Minkel said, “I am deeply saddened, troubled and outraged by this event. We need to make certain that our city’s love and goodness are louder than hatred and chaos and as an agency we hope to bring people together by providing service and connecting our community.”  

 

About the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority 

The NFTA is a regional multi-modal transportation authority responsible for airport and surface transportation in Erie and Niagara Counties. NFTA/NFTM businesses include a bus, rail and paratransit system, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls International Airport. In 2018, a J.D. Power study ranked the Buffalo Niagara International Airport number one in customer satisfaction for medium sized airports in North America. www.nfta.com 

 

For Immediate Release                                        May 9, 2022

MEDIA ADVISORY     

Meetings of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Board of Commissioners has been scheduled for Thursday, May 26, 2022, in the sixth-floor Board Room/Main Conference Room at the NFTA, 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, N.Y. Commissioners of the NFTA may choose to meet in person or participate remotely. The NFTA Chair (or Acting Chair), Executive Director, and essential staff of the NFTA will be present in person. The meetings below are not open to the public but can be viewed and listened to by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.

 

Thursday, May 26th                             Audit and Governance Committee

                                                            10:00 a.m.

 

                                                            Aviation Committee

                                                            10:30 a.m.

                                               

                                                            Surface Transportation Committee

                                                            11:00 a.m.

 

                                                            Board Meeting

                                                            12:30 p.m.

 

 

 

Survey Responses Will Provide Valuable Rider Feedback for NFTA-Metro

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       April 29, 2022           

BUFFALO, N.Y., - The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority wants to hear from riders and is inviting the public to participate in its annual Metro bus and rail customer satisfaction surveys. The surveys started on Monday March 28, and while hundreds have taken part, the more people who respond, the better. The  surveys cover a variety of topics ranging from scheduling and wait times to safety and cleanliness.

Customers can take the online surveys by visiting nfta.com through May 1.

“We encourage customers to take our survey, said Tom George, Director of Public Transit. The survey helps us collect important feedback from our customers and provides valuable insight on how we can better serve our riding community in the future.”

Survey respondents are eligible to enter a drawing to win Metro monthly passes and Tops gift cards by including a valid email address or phone number. Only one entry per person. All respondent information will remain confidential and will not be used for any other purpose. Winners will be notified by June 30.

The NFTA is conducting the surveys in conjunction with the American Bus Benchmarking Group.  The ABBG is compiled of 18+ medium-sized bus agencies within North America that benchmark performance and share experiences and best practices.

About NFTA-Metro

NFTA-Metro serves 24 million people each year in Erie and Niagara Counties, and is made up of 1,000 employees including operators, planners, mechanics, technicians, and specialists responsible for delivering service, and working diligently to make it easy for our customers to experience the highest level of public transportation. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) awarded NFTA-Metro with the top gold award in its 2020 Bus and Rail Safety & Security Excellence Awards. which is given to organizations with the best overall safety or security programs.

New Contract Includes New Starting Salary of $20.03 per hour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            April 28, 2022

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1342 have entered a three-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA). ATU members ratified the agreement last week, and the NFTA’s Board of Commissioners authorized the agreement at its meeting today, Thursday, April 28. The Union represents approximately 1,000 employees at the NFTA, including Bus and Rail Operators, Bus and Rail Mechanics, and those employed in the NFTA’s Clerical Department.  

“The NFTA could not deliver our high-quality transit services throughout Western New York without our dedicated employees,” Kim Minkel, Executive Director, NFTA said. “We are proud to partner with ATU 1342 to offer this competitive market wage and quality of life improvements to our valued employees.”

"This contract is welcome news to the NFTA's drivers and mechanics who ensure riders get to where they need to be safely and efficiently, and is the direct result of thoughtful negotiations that will ultimately impact the way these workers are paid, protected, and valued," said Senator Tim Kennedy, Chair of the New York State Senate's Transportation Committee. "I commend the ATU's Jeff Richardson and the NFTA's Kim Minkel for crafting a fair contract that will not only retain but grow Western New York's transit workforce." 

The new starting wages for all NFTA employees represented by the ATU will position the NFTA to improve its recruitment of new employees at this time.  In addition, the overall wage increases set forth in the new contract will help ensure the retention of our long-term employees, while other operational changes agreed to by the parties will alter existing work rules and other operational practices, to provide efficiencies and other improvements overall, all of which advances the NFTA’s mission and supports its many services to the public. 

Wage and benefit changes to the collective bargaining agreement include:

Members receive an equity adjustment of nine percent (9%) to current hourly wage rates, effective April 1, 2022, except for paratransit and big bus operators, who will see the starting rate for those positions increased by $2.00 per hour.

Changes to starting rates of pay, by elimination of the first step (or two) for many titles, which allows employees to reach the top rate of pay one year sooner.

Salary increases in April 2023, 2024, and 2025 for all employees of two percent (2.00%), two percent (2.00%), and two and one-quarter percent (2.25%) respectively.

Increases to longevity pay over two years, with the goal to encourage retention of long-serving employees.

Addition of Juneteenth to the list of basic holidays for all employees.

Effective January 1, 2024, there will be an increase in contribution by employees for company-provided health insurance to twelve percent (12%) of the monthly premium cost for either single or family coverage in the Traditional Blue POS 298 (POS 205).

 

About the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority

The NFTA is a regional multi-modal transportation authority responsible for air and surface transportation in Erie and Niagara Counties. NFTA/NFTM businesses include a bus, rail and paratransit system, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls International Airport. Learn more at www.nfta.com.

 

 

Public Transportation in WNY Continues on the Road to Sustainability

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            April 22, 2022

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (“NFTA”) introduced its first battery electric bus to the public on Earth Day, Friday, April 22, 2022. The full-size, 40-foot vehicle will be followed by nine more later this year. The buses purchased have been approved for more than $3.8 million in funding from the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program (NYTVIP).

NFTA-Metro’s electric bus was unveiled at the Cold Spring Maintenance Garage, home to the NFTA’s state-of-the-art charging station built with the help of National Grid and the New York Power Authority. Key partners in this project, National Grid and the New York Power Authority provided direct support for the infrastructure concept design, construction, and testing. The Cold Spring Garage has been sized to charge up to 50 buses and can be scaled up to serve 100.

“This is the type of collaboration and partnership we need to achieve our environmental improvement goals,” said Kim Minkel, executive director, NFTA. “We are committed to delivering clean, reliable, transit service to Western New York. Working together, we are building a cleaner, greener future.”

Congressman Brian Higgins said, “This is a historic milestone for the NFTA and public transportation in Western New York. The transition to electric buses improves the experience for riders and drivers, reduces the costs associated with a dependence on gasoline, and contributes to a cleaner and healthier community.”

“Just a few months ago, we were at this same facility with the US Labor Secretary, breaking ground on an $8 million upgrade that will pave the way for state-of-the-art battery electric buses. Today, on Earth Day, we’re thrilled to celebrate the first of those buses hitting Buffalo’s streets," said Senator Tim Kennedy, Chair of the Senate's Transportation Committee. "New York continues to make smart, strategic investments in our transportation networks, and this upcoming fleet is a reflection of how we as a state and region are actively preparing to create new, green opportunities down the road."

The NFTA order of ten New Flyer battery electric buses were all built in the USA in Crookston, Minnesota. In addition to vast reductions in emissions, the battery electric buses are quieter than both diesel and compressed natural gas buses. The new buses also feature an ultraviolet sanitizing system, improving their internal environments as well.

“At National Grid, we know that winning the fight against climate change requires emissions reductions across multiple sectors of the economy, including transportation,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid Vice President of Customer and Community. “We also know that achieving a clean energy future is possible by working together. We look forward to continued conversations with NFTA and other western New York agencies about how EV charging stations can help to shape the future of public transportation. Today, we get a glimpse of that future as NFTA adds its first brand new electric bus to its fleet.”

“The debut of the NFTA’s electric bus and the state-of-the-art infrastructure system that will power it shows that Buffalo is ready to help lead the transition to zero-emission transportation,” said NYPA Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “The New York Power Authority is pleased to support the construction of the first electric depot overhead bus charging system in New York State – with capacity to charge 50 buses at once. We are building for a future of electrified bus fleets and new more efficient clean energy solutions.”

NYSERDA administers the NYTVIP in partnership with the New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The $58.3 million NYTVIP program, makes it easier for municipal fleets to adopt clean vehicle technologies while removing the oldest, dirtiest diesel engines from New York roads. It is funded by $48.3 million from the state’s federal allocation from the Volkswagen settlement, and approximately $10 million in federal funds allocated to the New York State Department of Transportation.

Doreen M. Harris President and CEO of NYSERDA said, “NYSERDA is proud to support the ten new all-electric buses that will join NFTA’s fleet and provide community members and visitors with clean transportation to get where they need to go. By enhancing its fleet, NFTA is showing true leadership in reducing pollution and emissions in Western New York, helping to build cleaner, healthier communities for the benefit of generations to come.”

“One of the best ways to commemorate and celebrate Earth Day is by highlighting the vitally important transition toward a clean energy economy,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “The transportation sector, including the electrification of public buses, play a critical role in this transition. DEC applauds NFTA-Metro’s quick, and impressive, steps toward electrifying its fleet of buses, which will provide huge benefits for the communities served by NFTA-Metro and to the environment.”

About the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority

The NFTA is a regional multi-modal transportation authority responsible for air and surface transportation in Erie and Niagara Counties. NFTA/NFTM businesses include a bus, rail and paratransit system, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls International Airport. Learn more at www.nfta.com

 

A Truly “Electrifying” Way to Mark Earth Day

MEDIA ADVISORY                                                                                       April 21, 2022

 

Unveiling of NFTA-Metro’s First Battery Operated

Bus and Charging Station

 

A Truly “Electrifying” Way to Mark Earth Day  

 

What:       The NFTA is excited to present the first Battery Electric Bus (BEB) and

                  state-of-the-art charging station on Earth Day. This project will have a positive

                  impact on the environment and provide more equitable and sustainable transit

                  service in our region.

 

Who:         Join leaders from the NFTA, civic, business and government leaders.

                           

Where:    Cold Spring Bus Facility, 1581 Michigan Avenue, (When you turn on Main Street our facility

                is on the left, turn in the parking lot and we will have media parking available-the unveiling

                will take place inside).

 

When:       Friday, April 22, 2022,  11:30 a.m.

 

NFTA Mask Mandate Reinstated

 

April 20, 2022

 

“First and foremost, we want to apologize for what is sure to be confusing to our travelers

and riders, but due to the Governor’s announcement updating COVID regulations from

the New York State Department of Health, masks will still be required in all public

transportation entities within the State of New York until further notice. This includes the

Buffalo Niagara International and Niagara Falls International Airports, Metro Bus and

Rail and all Paratransit services. We will provide any updates or changes to this

policy accordingly.”

NFTA Statement on Mask Mandate

April 19, 2022

 

In accordance with the TSA’s recent decision that it will no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs, the NFTA will lift its mask requirements at the Buffalo Niagara International and Niagara Falls International Airports, and on NFTA-Metro Bus and Rail. The NFTA will continue to follow the CDC recommendation that encourages people to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time and that everyone should be respectful of those who choose to wear a face covering for their personal safety.

 

 

 

 

MEDIA ADVISORY     

April 28, 2022, Annual Meeting     

 

 

The annual meeting of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Board of Commissioners has been scheduled for Thursday, April 28, 2022, in the sixth-floor Board Room/Main Conference Room at the NFTA, 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, N.Y. Commissioners of the NFTA may choose to meet in person or participate remotely. The NFTA Chair (or Acting Chair), Executive Director, and essential staff of the NFTA will be present in person. The meetings below are not open to the public but can be viewed and listened to by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.

 

Thursday, April 28th                        Audit and Governance Committee

                                                            10:00 a.m.

 

                                                            Aviation Committee

                                                            10:30 a.m.

                                               

                                                            Surface Transportation Committee

                                                            11:00 a.m.

                                               

                                                            Annual Meeting

                                                            12:30 p.m.

 

 

For Immediate Release                                        March 11, 2022

Meetings of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Board of Commissioners has been scheduled for Thursday, March 24, 2022, in the sixth-floor Board Room/Main Conference Room at the NFTA, 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, N.Y. Commissioners of the NFTA may choose to meet in person or participate remotely. The NFTA Chair (or Acting Chair), Executive Director, and essential staff of the NFTA will be present in person. The meetings below are not open to the public but can be viewed and listened to by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.

 

Thursday, March 24                             Audit and Governance Committee

                                                            10:00 a.m.

 

                                                            Aviation Committee

                                                            10:30 a.m.

                                               

                                                            Surface Transportation Committee

                                                            11:00 a.m.

 

                                                            Human Resources Committee

                                                            11:30 a.m.

                                               

                                                            Board Meeting

                                                            12:30 p.m.

 

 

Brian Patterson Comes to the Position with More Than Three Decades in Law Enforcement

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       March 10, 2022

 

NFTA Announces New Police Chief

 

Brian Patterson Comes to the Position with More Than Three Decades in Law Enforcement

 

BUFFALO, N.Y.- The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced its new Police Chief, Brian Patterson who takes over for Chief George Gast who was with the NFTA for 13 years and retired last week.

Mr. Patterson has a distinguished career in law enforcement, including his previous role as Police Chief, supervising downtown Buffalo and its business district.

“We are excited that the new chief will add his expertise, professionalism, and ability to lead the Transit Police department keeping the NFTA and the community we serve safe and secure” said NFTA Executive Director Kim Minkel.

“I’m thrilled to serve as police chief and continue to work alongside the dedicated police officers,” Patterson said. “We will continue to commit ourselves to serving the Western New York community with excellence and  high priority on community engagement, transparency and accountability.”

Patterson, who will be the fifth NFTA Police Chief holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In addition, he was on staff at Medaille College in the Social Sciences Department, teaching Criminal Justice classes.

 

Local Artist Monet Kifner Wins Designs Contest Illustrating Black Excellence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       February 28, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y.- NFTA-Metro and the WNY Urban Arts Collective are thrilled to announce that Monet Kifner has won the proposal for artwork that will now grace the exterior of NFTA-Metro buses in honor of Black History Month and beyond. The Buffalo Artist’s work is entitled, “Black Excellence: Told By the Graces” highlights the various accomplishments met and exceeded through the past and current adversity and hardships.

“I chose to focus on a plethora of what I see to be black excellence today, to explore this theme I wanted to use the Three Graces from Greek mythology. The Graces, represent Creativity, Good Will and Beauty” said Kifner. For creativity I chose to focus on music. Black contributions to music touch my life, I wanted to clearly show Duke Ellington and the godmother of rock and roll, Sister Rosetta Sharpe. To illustrate good will I depicted figures from our history (MLK, President Obama) that have made major contributions in not only the betterment of the black community but for our country and the advancement of equity for our communities. Finally, I wanted to represent black beauty via the black woman.”

The winning piece will be seen by thousands while gracing the streets of Western New York. Within this space, there is an opportunity to contribute positively to the daily experience of the many people who use NFTA-Metro services. By creating vibrant and inspiring artwork for our buses, our hope is to generate feelings of pride. Subsequently, the addition of these pieces of work will continue to expand the growth of NFTA-Metro’s public art experiences.

"We welcome this opportunity to collaborate with NFTA-Metro on this community project and congratulate our winner, Monet Kifner said Artist and WNY-Urban Arts Collective John Baker. Thank you to all the talented artists that submitted inspirational designs, your participation was gratefully appreciated."

 

MEDIA ADVISORY                          February 25, 2022

 

 

 

What:      NFTA-Metro and the WNY Urban Arts Collective are thrilled to announce the                                       winner of the artwork that will now grace the exterior of NFTA-Metro buses in honor of Black                         History Month.

 

Who:       Join leaders from the NFTA, WNY Urban Arts Collective and local civic leaders.

     

 

Where:    Cold Spring Bus Facility,  1581 Michigan Avenue, (When you turn on Main Street our facility is on                    the left, turn in the parking lot and we will have media parking available-the unveiling will take                      place inside).

 

When:       Monday, February 28, 2022, at 10:30 a.m.

 

***All event procedures will follow proper social distancing and all guests

are asked to wear face coverings.

 

 

For Immediate Release                                        February 2, 2022

 

MEDIA ADVISORY     

February 24, 2022, Board Meeting     

 

Meetings of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Board of Commissioners have been scheduled for Thursday, February 24, 2022, in the sixth-floor Board Room/Main Conference Room at the NFTA, 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, N.Y. There will be a Combined Committee Meeting at 10:00 a.m. and a Board Meeting at 12:30 p.m. Commissioners of the NFTA may choose to meet in person or participate remotely. The NFTA Chair (or Acting Chair), Executive Director, and essential staff of the NFTA will be present in person. The meetings are not open to the public but can be viewed and listened to by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.

Modifications Will Help Stabilize Operations During Challenging Times

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       January 27, 2022

 

BUFFALO, N.Y., - NFTA-Metro is taking the necessary actions to help improve the reliability of service by making temporary reductions throughout the system. Every day operations have been dramatically hampered by the combination of operator shortage and the growing absenteeism rates related to COVID-19 illness and exposures. NFTA-Metro is planning on temporarily reducing service and making changes starting Sunday, February 13, 2022.  

“The ability to reliably serve our customers continues to be a challenge due to our ongoing driver shortage,” said Tom George, Director of Public Transit, NFTA. “Our riders need to have confidence that their ride will be available as scheduled, and these service modifications will allow us to maintain our commitment to the community.  We realize change can be difficult, but our focus remains providing the best service possible to our riders with the available resources.”

Businesses and transportation agencies across the country are similarly struggling. While NFTA-Metro navigates through a major demand for bus operators, the increase in workforce positive COVID-19 test results creates additional driver shortages. These service adjustments are designed to minimize any hardship on riders. NFTA-Metro suggests riders check the website, https://metro.nfta.com, for changes in schedules.

NFTA-Metro continues to rigorously recruit new operators, those interested in employment are encouraged to go to https://jobs.nfta.com/jobPosts.aspx on our website for more information.

Local Artists Will Have An Opportunity to Design Images That Will Grace Metro Buses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       January 13, 2022

 

NFTA-Metro Looking For Artists to Help Celebrate

Black Excellence

 

Local Artists Will Have An Opportunity to Design Images

That Will Grace Metro Buses

 

 

BUFFALO, N.Y.- NFTA-Metro and the WNY Urban Arts Collective are seeking local artists to submit proposals for artwork that will grace the exterior of NFTA-Metro buses in honor of Black History Month and beyond. The theme is “Black Excellence”, and artists are encouraged to be creative and inspiring. Images should be eye catching, engaging, colorful and reflective.

The winning piece will be seen by thousands while gracing the streets of WNY. Within this space, there is opportunity to contribute positively to the daily experience of the many people who use NFTA-Metro services. By creating vibrant and inspiring artwork for our buses, our hope is to generate feelings of pride. Subsequently, the addition of these pieces of work will continue to expand the growth of NFTA-Metro’s public art experiences.

Project Specifications

The contest is open to any Western New York artist to submit their proposal for consideration. Upon selection, artists will be paid a flat fee for their art contribution. Completed artwork should be sent to local artist, John Baker at Jonbak112@yahoo.com.

Submission Requirements

Artists are required to submit the following for consideration:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Phone
  4. Email
  5. Title of image
  6. Description of proposed artwork
  7. Bio
  8. Artwork JPEG format file attachment
  9. Save file as: firstname_lastname_JAI_Proposal.jpg(jpeg)

 

Timeline

The deadline for submissions is January 23rd, 2022, by midnight. Beginning January 24th, submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee from the NFTA and the WNY Urban Arts Collective. Artists will be notified of their submission status by January 27th, 2022.

 

 

About the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority

The NFTA is a regional multi-modal transportation authority responsible for airport and surface transportation in Erie and Niagara Counties. NFTA/NFTM businesses include a bus, rail and paratransit system, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls International Airport. In 2018, a J.D. Power study ranked the Buffalo Niagara International Airport number one in customer satisfaction for medium sized airports in North America. www.nfta.com

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

For Immediate Release                                        January 4, 2022

MEDIA ADVISORY      January 27, 2022, Board Meeting     

 

Meetings of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Board of Commissioners have been scheduled for Thursday, January 27, 2022, in the sixth-floor Board Room/Main Conference Room at the NFTA, 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, N.Y. There will be a Combined Committee Meeting at 10:00 a.m. and a Board Meeting at 12:30 p.m. Commissioners of the NFTA may choose to meet in person or participate remotely. The NFTA Chair (or Acting Chair), Executive Director, and essential staff of the NFTA will be present in person. The meetings are not open to the public but can be viewed and listened to by accessing the NFTA’s website at www.nfta.com. The meeting will be recorded and later transcribed.

NFTA Unveils Robert T. Coles Tribute Signage at Its Utica Station

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           December 29, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The NFTA was joined by government and civic leaders as well as members of the Coles Family to unveil the new tribute signage at the Utica Station on Main Street in honor of Robert T. Coles, the famed Buffalo Architect who passed away last year.

Coles was a true pioneer in architecture, a community activist, and a founding member of the National Organization for Minority Architects (NOMA). Coles designed numerous modernist landmark buildings in his native Buffalo including the Alumni Arena and Natatorium at the University at Buffalo, the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library on Jefferson Avenue, as well as the Utica Station on Main Street, where the special event took place.

“This is a day I have looked forward to since July 2020, when I reached out to the NFTA Board of Commissioners to request the Utica Street Transit Station be renamed in honor of its trailblazing designer, Buffalo Architect Robert Traynham Coles,” Mayor Byron W. Brown said. “Today’s renaming is a major step forward in using our City’s public spaces to honor the history and contributions of Black artists, thinkers, clergy, inventors, architects, government leaders, educators, and others who are critical to understanding the diverse heritage of Buffalo, New York State and our nation. It also leaves a lasting mark and serves as a continuing inspiration in the community Robert Coles lived in and loved so much. 

“Highlighting Mr. Coles’ lifelong advocacy for social justice and his extraordinary life and contributions to our community is important,” said Kim Minkel, NFTA Executive Director. “We are proud of our agency’s ability to use our public space to celebrate and recognize Mr. Coles’ work and legacy.”

A trailblazer in architecture and a vocal activist, Robert T. Coles was truly a changemaker. He was deeply committed to his community, and to making a difference where it mattered most," said Senator Tim Kennedy, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. "While he may no longer be with us, his legacy undoubtedly lives on. We see his fingerprints everywhere we look in Buffalo, including at the Utica Station, where he will now fittingly be honored in perpetuity."

In July of 2020, Mayor Byron Brown reached out to the NFTA and UB’s School of Architecture and Planning to honor the late Robert Traynham Coles, an African American architect who had recently passed away. Their collective decision was to rename Utica Street Station, a building the architect designed in a joint venture with University of Minnesota classmate Randy Vocbeck (of VVKR) in 1984, in honor of its architect. This station is a major example of Coles’ modernist design style, which incorporates the use of concrete to develop the waffle grid construction system that structures the upper foyer and lower concourse levels and students at UB helped design the new exterior lettering.

“I am deeply honored to speak on behalf of Robert Coles,” said Sylvia Coles, who was married to Robert T. Coles for more than 6 decades. “Were he here today, he would most certainly express his appreciation for the recognition of his significant contributions to Buffalo's public architecture, including this station, by renaming the station for him.”  

Coles earned a master’s degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following a fellowship in Europe, Coles returned to his native Buffalo, working for multiple firms before opening  his own firm in 1963. Coles was a Professor of Architecture at both the University of Kansas and Carnegie Mellon University. Coles was the first African American Chancellor of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the first AIA Vice-President for Minority Affairs and was named to the College of Fellows of the AIA in 1981. Coles was 90 when he passed away on May 16, 2020.

 

MEDIA ADVISORY                     December 28, 2021

 

 

What:        NFTA Unveils Robert T. Coles Tribute Signage at Utica Station

 

Who:         NFTA leaders, local government officials and members of

                  the Coles family   

                 

Where:     NFTA Metro Rail Utica Station, 1375 Main Street, Buffalo, N.Y.

 

When:      December 29, 2021, 11:00 a.m.   

 

 

***All event procedures will follow proper social distancing and all guests are asked to wear face coverings.